As well as lifting the pay freeze and 1% cap, the union’s claim includes pay rises of £1,200 or 5% and the introduction of the living wage on government contracts, defending terms and conditions, and opposing privatisation and cuts to pensions and jobs.
Bootle Taxes Branch welcomes this announcement, coming as it does in the wake of the successful demonstrations by members on 14 and 30 November. Members have shown their strength of feeling in opposition to the government’s latest attack on working conditions – including hours, holidays, flexible working and family-friendly policies – as well as cuts to jobs, pay and pensions. It is good to see the NEC moving to action on this basis.
The Branch also applauds our fellow HMRC PCS members in Coventry. Not only did their 18 October walkout on Francis Maude pave the way for the November demonstrations, but with a further walkout on 5 December and an in-work stoppage following Francis Maude’s advice that they should all take the time to read the Civil Service Reform Plan they continue to lead the way and drive the campaign forward.
The NEC agreed that if employers do not respond satisfactorily to PCS demands, they will move to a national ballot in the new year for a programme of industrial action. The committee will meet again in January to assess the government’s response and make a final decision on the timing of a ballot.
The pay claim comes from a survey conducted jointly with Unite earlier this year, which revealed that on average, PCS members have seen their income fall by £1,200 a year. The cost of living has continued to rise and pension contributions rises have cut into this already reduced pay.
The Cabinet Office has opened a consultation on further pension contribution increases and we are urging members to send in their views. More details are available on the national PCS website here.
While the NEC will make every effort to secure meaningful negotiations on all these issues, they are committed to preparing for industrial action if necessary. Bootle Taxes Branch expects that the strong action shown by members at recent protests will continue as the battle escalates in the new year.